Petes Big Nickel to BC E-bike ride 2019

Since I started this website and after reviewing a lot of gears and gadgets and gizmos, I have really found that Electric bikes have become my new favourite thing. In the 80s I had a 20 speed mountain bike to get around LA and have always enjoyed the freedom of cycling. I always loved the idea of solar power but the technology has been very expensive and only in the last 10 years have solar products become more reasonable priced and more available. 

More than 30 years have rolled by and I am now a 56 years old father of three great kids and with my major change in life I had been searching for something for me to do to rejuvenate myself, clear my head, get my old mojo back again and hopefully inspire other people in my situation that it's not over yet and to get out and do something.

So I had this great idea to get an Electric bike and build a solar collector trailer and take it across Canada for a 90 day trek from Ontario to British Columbia. The theme of the ride is to help fight depression by staying active and exposing people to E-bikes and clean energy. E-bikes are great way for anyone to get back riding again. I truly believe that Electric bikes can be the answer to many traffic and parking problems across many North America cities. Electric bikes are a great way to commute and riding a bike can be a great energy booster and stress reliever for anyone. E-bikes can also get older people or people with disabilities riding again.

Already very popular in China and Europe, electric bike popularity has been growing in Canada and the US in the last few years. The great news is there are more E-bike manufacturers than ever and the prices are getting cheaper. You can get a better Electric bike today for under $2000 than many bikes that were selling for double that price a few years ago.

I was in touch with George, the owner of Voltbike, over the summer of 2018 and reviewed a few of their models: the Yukon and the Elegant. When I spoke to George about my idea of crossing Canada on an E-bike in the summer of 2019 he loved the idea. Voltbike is providing me with an E-bike for my preparations and journey.

In this post and other detailed posts I will share why I am doing it, my steps in planning my journey and share with you the equipment I would like to get for the journey. Eventually this will become a complete guide to help anyone who would like to do some E-bike touring. Join my Youtube channel, subscribe and follow my journey.

I will be doing videos of the preparation and the journey itself and in the fall I will publish longer videos with better production. As I will learn new things, I will share them with you. 

 Spread the word of the importance of staying active to improve mental health and the use of clean energy.

The Journey 

Pete's Big Nickel to BC E-bike Ride

On June 1st Pete Lautenschlager will set off from Sudbury Ontario and head west to British Columbia. The solo journey is set for between 90 and 100 days to travel a distance of 7,000 Km using the Great Canadian Trail and the highways. Arrival is expected early September.

What's the purpose of this bike ride.

My goal is to bring awareness to mental health and depression and the benefits of E-bikes and clean energy. I want to meet and inspire as many people as I can to get out and get active. Spread the word of the importance of staying active to improve mental health and the use of clean energy. Use it or lose it, is a very true statement. I would like to encourage people to be kinder to themselves and one another.  

I do have back issues and have been suffering from depression the last few years and need something to kick start me later in life.

Many times when people do a journey for a cause they are collecting money for a particular charity organization. I love the idea but I don't like that many charity organizations take an obscene amount off the top, many times one dollar donated equates to less than ten percent getting to the the actual people that need it.

What you can do.

What I would like is for people to stop and be kinder to one another. Turn off your smart device and talk to someone, give them your full attention and listen. Voice your opinion on making mental healthcare more accessible and affordable. Often times people that need therapy cannot afford the costs. Understand that depression is real and someone cannot just snap out of it.

If you are suffering from depression I hope I will help motivate you to go out and do something. I know this can be hard. But I have found exercise has been a life saver for me. It is the best antidepressant I know and the side effects are fantastic. I would suggest small attainable goals. For example instead of joining a gym and saying you will go workout 5 days a week, I would say make a goal of going for a walk two days a week and start with that. You will find things may get easier with a little momentum.

Follow along on Instagram. I will be posting my journey daily along the way.

Subscribe to my Youtube Channel, make comments like and share. Your feedback will help me make better content.

If you purchase an E-bike from a company like Voltbike please use the ambassador code Pete Lautenschlager if indicated. I am working on some discount codes for my followers.

Please use the links provided for purchasing other items I have reviewed on this website. If you purchase a product or service with the links on this site I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you and this would greatly help to support my journey. This support will allow and Pete to provide you with daily updates, videos and motivation and continue to grow.

 If you see me along the way please say hi!

What I will be doing

I will be cycling between 100 to 120 Km a day with some off days for rest and repairs and camping along the way. I will be staying in hotels at times to recharge me and my batteries and I will be stopping in towns along the way to talk to the press and meet local people.

I will be filming and  uploading videos to my Youtube channel to share with you along the way. In the fall when I return home I will be doing longer videos where I can do a better editing job and create more music for my videos. 

Before the trip I will have a number of things to learn before my start date, like how to fly a drone and get my license as is required by the new drone laws taking effect later this year. Figure out the proper solar panel setup that will work for my journey.

Planning the route

I will be starting from my home town of Sudbury Ontario at the beginning of June and arrive at the end of August at my destination the Voltbike Factory in Barnaby BC.

I would like to stay off the Trans Canada highway as much as possible and use the Great Trail that goes completely across Canada. The problem is I do not know how rough some sections are and it significantly adds more kilometers. 

The route on this map indicate that it is 7613 Km. I will be not be going up north in Alberta as this route adds another 1000 Km to the journey. I will cut straight across as indicated. I figure I will be riding about 100 to 120 Km a day and with a few off days I figure it should take me about three months to complete my journey.

Example map quest from Sudbury to Vancouver British Columbia is 4000 Km 

Mapquest across Canada

To travel the distance using Great Canadian Trail is a total of 7630 Km that is close to double the distance and I will be going slower through rough trails.

The Great Trail

So I decided I am going to use both some on the the Highway and some on the trail. I still have to do more research and figure out the best route. If anyone has any suggestions from their own experience,  please comment below and share your thoughts.

The Bike

The bike I will be riding will be a Voltbike Yukon Limited edition Fat Tire Bike or the Voltbike Bravo that will be provide by Voltbike. I am trying to figure out which is the best bike for me.

This will be a test for the bike and for me as I haven't done much cycling in many years. I do have back issues and do keep active and go to the gym regularly to help so I am in pretty good shape.

The two bike specifications are.

Voltbike Yukon

  • Motor 750 watts
  • Battery 48 volt 16 Ah
  • Weight 68 lbs
  • Range between 25 to 56 km /15 to 35 miles

Voltbike Bravo

  • Motor 500 watts
  • Battery 48 volts 12.8 Ah
  • Weight 58 lbs
  • Range between 60 and 70 km / 34 to 43 miles

An E-bike , unlike a regular bike, has an electric motor that gives you a little boost. An E-bike still requires you to peddle but the motor gives you some assistance that allows you to go faster and make it easier to go up hills. 

See my post What are the different types of electric bikes available? to learn more about E-bikes

Solar trailer Build

The E-bike I will be riding has a range of about between 50 km and 70 km. I know I will get less range because I will be weighted down with the trailer and addition equipment. As you can see from the range of the bikes and do the math, 100 to a 120 Km a day will require some charging. I also will be camping many nights and will not have access to power so I have to be somewhat self sufficient.

This is the main caveat of travelling long distances on an E-bike. I still have not finalized and I am still working on what is the best setup to extend the range.  I will be going through stretches of rural areas of 200 to 300 km that I will not be able to charge my bike. I could carry two batteries and charge every 90 to 100 km if I have a power outlet and 3 to 4 hours to wait.If I have electricity available or I  can carry a solar panel to charge my battery on the go.

I still have the option to peddle manually without power so I will not be stranded but with the weight of the bike and addition trailer means I will be working harder and going slower. 

Having seen the Sun Trip 2018, a Solar powered race that takes place in various parts of the world, I have decided to make a solar panel trailer to power my journey and further promote the use of green solar energy. Plus I have always loved the idea of solar power.

The trailer I will be building will be a single wheel trailer that I will mount a solar panel on to collect energy from the sun and charge my batteries. I will be using flexible 100 watt solar panels and at the moment I am still trying to figure out my exact set up. I am making calls and emailing various companies to help me figure out the best set up.

I will be doing follow up posts and videos so stay tuned for more info and if you have any experience or info you would like to share please comment below. 

Equipment I will need

The following items are needed for my journey. As I acquire different items purchased or provided to me by sponsors such as Voltbike.  I will review and share how they work.

  • Bike 
  • Trailer
  • Solar power collector trailer
  • Drone
  • Laptop
  • Phone
  • Tent
  • Clothing
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Air Mattress 
  • Camp cooking stuff
  • Water purifier
  • Bear spray
  • Locks
  • Helmet
  • Extra tire tubes
  • UAV Radio

Additional things I have to do.

Purchase and get drone certification 

I have to purchase and learn how to use a drone. With the new drone laws taking effect this summer I have to get  my drone license to operate my drone legally. The drone I am think of getting is the DJI Mavic Air or the DJI Mavic pro 2.  Both are quite pricey and I am still researching which one I can afford. Once I decide I will share that information with you. 

Learn to repair and troubleshoot an E-bike

When cycling long distances on a bike there are bound to be some breakdowns and flat tires along the way. An electric bike has an additional motor and electric system that adds to the list of components that can go wrong.  I will have to learn how to troubleshoot problems and fix them on the road. I will be visiting some bike shops along the way. 

Final Words

So there you have it the what I know so far. The section Pete's E-bike ride and my Youtube channel will be expand in the coming months with more information on my preparations that I will share with you.

Please like, subscribe and share as I hope that I will help inspire some people to get moving and step out of their comfort zone.

If you would like to sponsor my journey please contact me at [email protected] and see how we can work together.

Pete’s Big Nickel to B.C E-bike Ride
Sponsorship Proposal 


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About the Author


Here to provide you with info and reviews and just plain cool stuff. Electronic device advice.

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